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Young People, Media Use, and Voter Turnout: An Analysis of the 2000 National Election Study
Unformatted Document Text:  Young Voters and Media Use 7 (Buckingham, 1999) and young people’s use of news media is focused mainly on entertainment, features and sports pages (Harcourt and Hartland, 1992). This tendency of young people in their media use brings us a concern especially when we think of their level of political interest or political participation. Though it is recognized that young people are enthusiastic about some issues such as environment or gay and lesbian rights, young people are often viewed as ignorant, apathetic and cynical about politics (Buckingham, 1999). Bennett (2000) compared birth cohorts’ political interest in 1987 and 1998 and showed not only that political apathy has been prevalent among young people but also it became more widespread in 1998 than the past. While recognizing that young people tend to pay more attention to politics as they grow older, Bennett urged more attention to prevalent trends among today’s young people: increasing political apathy and decreasing exposure to news media. While we often hear people lamenting young people’s lack of political involvement and saying, “If young Americans fail to vote, what is the future of American democracy?”(Aspen Institute report, 2001), there hasn’t been much effort to understand the factors that may predict young peoples’ voter turnout and, further, to develop a profile of those young people who are likely to cast their ballot. This paper tries to discover the relationship between various factors and young voter turnout and the characteristics of young people who are likely to go to the poll on an election day.

Authors: Kim, Eunsong.
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Young Voters and Media Use
7
(Buckingham, 1999) and young people’s use of news media is focused mainly on
entertainment, features and sports pages (Harcourt and Hartland, 1992).
This tendency of young people in their media use brings us a concern especially
when we think of their level of political interest or political participation. Though it is
recognized that young people are enthusiastic about some issues such as environment or
gay and lesbian rights, young people are often viewed as ignorant, apathetic and cynical
about politics (Buckingham, 1999).
Bennett (2000) compared birth cohorts’ political interest in 1987 and 1998 and
showed not only that political apathy has been prevalent among young people but also it
became more widespread in 1998 than the past. While recognizing that young people
tend to pay more attention to politics as they grow older, Bennett urged more attention
to prevalent trends among today’s young people: increasing political apathy and
decreasing exposure to news media.
While we often hear people lamenting young people’s lack of political
involvement and saying, “If young Americans fail to vote, what is the future of
American democracy?”(Aspen Institute report, 2001), there hasn’t been much effort to
understand the factors that may predict young peoples’ voter turnout and, further, to
develop a profile of those young people who are likely to cast their ballot. This paper
tries to discover the relationship between various factors and young voter turnout and
the characteristics of young people who are likely to go to the poll on an election day.


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